As a superhero known as the Tick, he first appears in The Tick #11 at the Comet Club, in New York City where he encounters the Tick. Barry, feeling that the Tick is trying to steal his own superhero persona fights, but loses to the Tick. The result of this battle is that Barry is divested of his pseudonym and all of his superhero possessions, including his "Tick Cave" and they are awarded to the Tick and Arthur. Barry descends into melancholy and refuses to wear clothing of any kind, a state that those who are forced to associate with him find unsettling.
As the Tick, Barry's arch-enemies are the Evileers led by The Terror. After the Tick's victory, Barry attempts to engage the Evilleers hoping they will destroy the Tick and he can reclaim his possessions. This becomes a running theme as Barry tries various schemes to regain his superhero name, including getting the Tick recommitted to Evanston Asylum, teaming up with the Tick's enemies and obtaining the Thorn of Oblivion, a powerful ninja artifact. While Barry goes from superhero to supervillain, it is clear that he is not really committed to evilness, but simply obsessed with destroying the Tick and anyone who gets in his way. After the Tick is returned to Evanston Clinic, Barry reassumes the Tick's persona, but goes on a rampage against heroes and villains alike, prompting several supervillains, including Chairface Chippendale to fly to Evanston to liberate the Tick. In the The Tick's Big Summer Annual 1, he battles another of the Tick's antagonists, the Chainsaw Vigilante.
It is later revealed that Barry was an inmate at the Evanston Clinic at the same time as the Tick and escaped when the latter did. Mighty Agrippa also reveals that Barry never has had an original superhero idea and merely attacks and defeats other superheroes in order to appropriate their persona until he gets bored and goes looking for a new one. Besides the Tick, Barry has also been known as The Louse, Captain Two-by-Four, The Beachnik, The Cheese Wizard, The Littlest Girl Scout, which Mighty Agrippa remarked was the saddest fight ever and Buttery Lobster. His sanity had always been in question but after he lobotomized his dog named Host, Mighty Agrippa states he "Snapped Bad."
In The Tick: Days of Drama series Barry has relocated to Blissville, a town where superheroes and villains coexist symbiotically by scripting crimes and fights. Barry spends his time constantly mowing his lawn—a situation that prevents him from hearing the voices in his head—and doing so while still nude.
He has a lobotomized dog, named Host. Over the course of the series his mental state has gotten progressively worse, from neurotic to obsessive to completely psychotic, even attempting to murder Bazooka Joe when he believed he was going to take the Thorn of Oblivion. Likewise he attempted to kill the Hand Grenade and the Ant when they disrupted his movie.